I remember watching Jerry Springer when I was about 13. It was the first time I heard the term transsexual. The girl was beautiful; I wanted to be like her. It started me researching about being transgender. I was fairly masculine outwardly, but there was no denying the girl inside of me.
I first tried on my mom’s bathing suit when I was 14, on vacation in Maine at my grandparents. It was just hanging there in the bathroom, daring me to try it on. I couldn’t resist. It felt so good, but the shame quickly washed over me.
I’ve done a good job at hiding my female identity. I’m good at being male and have become a good actor. My body and mind are not allowing me to continue this act for much longer. I may have started dressing young, hiding it away in the closet for years at a time, but it was always there. Occasionally, I would dress in my girlfriends’ clothes without them knowing.
When my GF and I broke up in my 20s, she left a bag of clothes behind. I was so excited and immediately starting trying everything on. It was the first time I slept in female clothes. It felt so right, but I put those feelings to bed fairly quickly; Nikki wasn’t ready to come out. I kept her at bay as I obsessed over my career in music.
I put all my energy into music and kept my desires to myself. I dated girls, but my fantasies were centered on being a girl and the thoughts of a relationship with a man or another like myself. Dealing with all the suppressed feelings took a toll on my mental state. Doing so has caused me to suffer from chronic anxiety since early in my teenage years. Additionally, I suffer from chronic pain due to a hip disease that took hold of me as a young child.
The tipping point came this past summer when my body and mind completely crashed and burned. I was very ill and developed severe insomnia. My anxiety and blood pressure were reaching dangerous levels. On a night last July, I finally came out to my girlfriend and sister. The words I truly believed would never see the light of day tumbled out of my mouth, “I fantasize about being a woman all the time.”
My sister is very supportive and so is my girlfriend, but it’s been hard on her. After coming out, we didn’t talk about it as I was still battling health problems. It was another severe bout of insomnia that prompted me to address my desires with my girlfriend again. We explored my feelings deeper; she let me wear her lingerie and we shopped online together for my own.
I’m not sure how far she will support me on my journey, but her love means the world to me. I started seeing a gender therapist and continue to be more comfortable with the notion that I might be transgendered.
I don’t know how I’ll ever be able tell my conservative, Roman Catholic mother. In the back of my mind, I believed it better to transition after my mom’s passing, now… I’m not sure that’s the best option.
My mom told me as a kid that my name would have been Nikki if I’d been born a girl. It always stuck with me, and I’ve known it was my name ever since. I’m finally letting Nikki out slowly; I’m both excited and scared to see where she goes.